Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 11/22

Tonight, millions of Americans, from one end of this country to the other, will be sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal.  Enjoying traditional foods such as turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, Americans will re-enact the “first” Thanksgiving when ninety Native Americans and fifty English Pilgrim settlers sat together in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621.  In that…

“Interfaith Thanksgiving Sermon” – St. John’s Episcopal Church

Hinei mah tov u’manayim shevet achim gam yachad.  How good and how pleasant it is when we brothers and sisters can dwell together in peace.  Here we sit, members of multiple congregations in our community, next to friends, or strangers, engaged in song and in prayer.  Together we represent multiple religions, genders, sexual orientations, and…

“New Member Shabbat Sermon”

Welcome to all our members and, a very special welcome, to the newest members of our congregation.  On this “new member” Shabbat, we show appreciation for those who have chosen to join our community here at Temple Israel.  It is certainly our hope that Temple Israel will add Jewish engagement and joy to your lives,…

“American Jews Face a Choice” – Weekly Newsletter – 11/15/18

This past weekend, I came across an article in the New York Times entitled “American Jews Face a Choice: Create Meaning or Fade Away”  by Gal Beckerman. In the article, Beckerman uses a review of five books on the American Jewish identity to make some sweeping claims about the future or Judaism in America. As…

Interfaith Sermon – St. John’s Episcopal Church -11/11/18

Good morning and thank you to each of you, and to Bradley and Hilary, for your warm welcome this morning. Opportunities for interfaith dialogue and collaboration are so important to me and have guided me in my duties as the rabbi of Temple Israel and as the director of the Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette….

“Veterans Day & Toldot”

This morning we read from parsha Toldot, which includes the story of Jacob and Esau.  Most of us have heard this story before.  Jacob and Esau struggle in their mother’s womb, and, when they are born, the two boys cannot be more different.  Esau emerges, according to the text, “like a hairy mantle,” meaning that…

“Judaism & Veterans” – Weekly Newsletter – 11/8/18

This coming weekend, with Veterans Day observed on Monday, November, 12, we at Temple Israel will observe a special Veterans Day Shabbat service.  On Saturday, November 10 , we will gather in our sanctuary for Shabbat worship and extend welcome and honor to those in our community who have served in our military forces.  Our…

“Our Step-Mother, The Stranger”

I thought a great deal about what to speak on this evening.  So much has occurred since our last Shabbat, since that morning when I had to send you out into the world with news that fellow Jews in Pittsburgh had been gunned down while peacefully praying in their house of worship. So much. This…

“Trans-Torah” – Monthly Newsletter – November 2018

Over the course of this year, members of the LGBTQ community have faced new levels of discrimination on a local and national level.  This past year, our government began to take steps to attack the freedoms of the Transgender community by issuing orders to bar Transgender individuals from our military and, most recently, are facing…